Since 2015, chef Elizabeth Johnson has been on a mission to transform how San Antonians think about food. Her downtown restaurant, Pharm Table, is part eatery, part apothecary. But unlike traditional pharmacies, Pharm Table uses food as medicine.
Beginning this fall, Johnson is expanding her innovative concept and moving the restaurant from Auditorium Circle, near the Tobin Center, to Southtown. In a release, Johnson calls the move "the next step in [the restaurant]'s evolution." It opens at 812 S. Alamo St. in late November.
Along with a new space, diners can expect an expanded menu, one that continues to emphasize nutrient-rich dishes and ingredients, as well as a thoughtfully designed space "honoring safety, sustainability and the local landscape."
The menu, according to a release, will continue to meld Eastern, Western, Mesoamerican, and anti-inflammatory diets, and San Antonio heritage foods. At the downtown space, nothing on the menu includes wheat, dairy, sugar, or processed foods. Even cooking oil is extracted onsite from nuts and seeds rather than using traditional cooking oils, a practice likely to continue in the Southtown outpost.
Like the food, the beverage menu, crafted by local consultant Houston Eaves, emphasizes artisanal, botanical, anti-inflammatory spirits. Sugars, of course, will be eschewed when possible, and liberal use of botanicals and herbs will be a "signature" of the program. The restaurant will also sell natural wines and beers.
“There will be a new and expanded menu that reflects global cuisines and the library of world spices that inspire our cooking and mission to heal people with food,” said Johnson. “Our freshly designed space is inspired by ancestry, healthy living and of course fun, while also being mindful of the realities that exist today.”
To help create the space, Johnson tapped an international team of architects and artists to collaborate on the project. The Pharm Table project is even being used as a work model for students at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. "The group is taking this on as a real-life case study of a restaurant operating and reimagining itself during a global pandemic," notes the release.
Inside, the new space is "configured for modern life as a place of joy and social gathering," while also addressing the challenges that COVID-19 brings — and the likelihood that it's changed dining out forever.
"I’m truly looking forward to creating a new culinary destination for Southtown,” said Kevin Covey of GrayStreet Partners, one of Pharm Table's commercial investors. “Pharm Table is elevating San Antonio’s diverse dining options and fits well into the energy of the neighborhood.”
For now, Pharm Table's original downtown location is still open for patio dining, curbside, takeout, and delivery. It's open 11 am-3 pm, Tuesday through Sunday.